What is it?

The concept of having the opportunity to try many many times and fail many times to increase the probability to succeeding.

What is it useful for?

Increasing the probability of success.

How do you do it?

Anyone can play the numbers game. It doesn’t matter what it is applied to. You apply repetition to an act. Increase the number of times you do that act in order to increase the probability of succeeding. There are numerous examples in the text below of what to apply the numbers game to. Please add your suggestions and experience too.

Playing the Numbers Game

by Brad Bollenbach

The first Ruby on Rails web development contract I ever got, with zero Rails experience whatsoever, was for $85/hour. To get it, I sent out 80 CVs in 2 weeks .

The consulting gig I’m doing right now? I applied for dozens of contracts over a period of months, including even getting flown out to Zappos in Las Vegas recently, going through eight hours of interviews with various engineering teams — and ultimately got rejected.

I’ve written 80,000 to 100,000 words and over 70 articles on this blog. Not a millionaire yet, apparently. Still going.

Not counting consulting, I’m on my third business idea . If 80% of businesses fail, I’m getting closer and closer to shifting the odds in my favour.

I liked 199 girls on Plenty of Tweeps , before finally meeting the girl I now live with, the girl I will almost certainly marry. And that’s not even counting the hundreds and hundreds of people I’ve met from social skydiving .

No matter how hard you try, you are only going to get a fraction of the results you expect. That may sound discouraging. After all, a five percent return on watching TV with your partner at night, complaining about everything that’s wrong with your job — about how your whole department is just fucked — will not grow into an asset you can retire on.

But a five percent return on hitting up literally every single opportunity you can think of — five percent of 1 Yes, in spite of 200 Noes — five percent of using every second you are not working for someone else to build something that just might allow you to work for yourself — that, in my experience at least, is a gamble worthy of your entire force.

This was originally posted by Brad Bollenbach on http://30sleeps.com/blog/ – original link http://30sleeps.com/blog/2010/09/10/playing-the-numbers-game/

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